While the Los Angeles Dodgers are dealing with financial debts and attempts to keep their wage bill from exploding, they’re also keeping their key players from getting away, including Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen, both on the verge of re-signing with the team.
Turner, the 32-year old third baseman, finished ninth in the NL MVP voting last season after hitting a career-high 27 home runs and batting .275 through 151 games and finishing with a career best 4.2 oWAR, making it 11.2 over the last three seasons combined. He has been in discussions with other teams, but no one came too close to signing him. It seems like the Dodgers will keep him for about four more years with $60-65 million coming his way, possibly with some sort of option on the final season. Turner, who began his major league career in Baltimore seven years ago, has been with the Dodgers since 2014.
Another big signing the Dodgers are about to make amid a very competitive market for closers is Jansen, who turned 29 in September, and is coming off another terrific season, in which he made his first All-Star game. Jansen finished with 47 saves last season (six blown saves) while posting a 1.83 ERA. He had a 0.670 WHIP while striking out 9.45 batters per each one he walked. His next contract? Hard to say. It’s rumored the Miami Marlins offered him $80 million over five seasons. The Dodgers weren’t keen on matching it, but that might have been a negotiation ploy to make him take a hometown discount. It’ll be at least $14 million a season, four or five years down the line.
Despite the financial insecurity, the Dodgers seem to be in a good position for the short-term future. They’re not going to make splashy free agency signings, but they have enough depth in arms and bats to keep things together for at least two more years, especially if Clayton Kershaw avoids any serious injuries. Further down the line is more difficult to predict, but signing Turner and especially Jansen will solidify their competitiveness in the NL West and their aspirations to finally make the World Series for more than just this period.